Amritpal Sandhu told a 911 dispatcher he was driving on Highway 99 when someone in a black Nissan Altima fired shots at him. It was the first of two 911 calls he made shortly before he was fatally shot in Turlock in the early hours of Nov. 6, 2013.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Karimi played audio recordings of the 911 calls in court Wednesday. In the first call, Sandhu sounded like he had not yet been injured. He calmly explained to the dispatcher the circumstances of the freeway shooting. “He shot me like five, six times at me,” Sandhu said.
He said he was following the black Nissan, and the dispatcher told him to stop following the car. Sandhu told the dispatcher that the Nissan exited the freeway at Monte Vista Avenue. Then, the first call ended.
I’m following the car who shot (at) me. … They shot me right now.
Amritpal Sandhu told 911 dispatcher
The second call started with Sandhu telling the dispatcher, “I’m following the car who shot (at) me.”
The dispatcher quickly responded, “That’s ridiculous. Do you want to end up dead?”
Shortly after, sounds of gunfire could be heard on the recording. “They shot me right now,” Sandhu told the dispatcher. He can then be heard groaning in pain.
The dispatcher repeatedly tried to keep Sandhu talking, asking him where he was so she could send help. But there was no response.
Sandhu, 21, was found dead in his white Infiniti sedan near Pioneer Avenue and East Main Street in Turlock. His car was spotted slowly coming to a stop as it jumped a curb and struck a utility pole.
Prosecutors say Pardeep Singh, Kultar Singh Dhatt and Cole Nathaniel Millington are responsible for the deadly shooting. The defendants are charged with murder.
The 911 calls were played as part of a preliminary hearing for the defendants. The hearing began Wednesday morning with testimony from the victim’s brother, Ajaypal Sandhu.
SHOOTING AT HOME
Three months before Amritpal Sandhu was gunned down, his family’s Ceres home was shot at in a drive-by shooting, his brother told a judge.
He said the drive-by shooting occurred in August 2013. He said he was awakened by the sound of gunfire about midnight.
He then heard a dog barking and tires screeching. Ajaypal Sandhu said he believed the shooting had occurred at another home, so he returned to bed without calling police. The following morning, the family discovered expended bullets and bullet holes in the garage and the grandmother’s bedroom wall.
Ajaypal Sandhu testified that his brother was at work when the shooting occurred.
Amritpal Sandhu at the time had no clue who shot at his family’s home, and he never spoke about having enemies, his brother said.
The last time Ajaypal Sandhu saw Amritpal alive was a few hours before his death. He testified he picked up his brother at work about midnight and they returned home. Ajaypal Sandhu went to bed soon after.
Amritpal Sandhu left his family’s home later that night, which his brother said wasn’t unusual. About 4 a.m., detectives arrived at the family’s home to inform them of the fatal shooting.
During cross-examination, Ajaypal Sandhu said he didn’t recall telling a detective that he believed his brother was still at work. He testified he must have been confused by the detective’s question because he was still in shock.
Ajaypal Sandhu testified that he never saw his brother with a gun, but Amritpal Sandhu did have a samurai sword he bought at a mall.
It was a display model sword, Ajaypal Sandhu initially testified but later clarified the sword could harm someone if using the right amount of force. He told the judge his brother always kept the sword in his bedroom, never in his car. But when detectives searched the bedroom after the deadly shooting, the sword was gone, Ajaypal Sandhu said.
The preliminary hearing is expected to resume Friday and continue Jan. 4 due to the attorneys’ scheduling conflicts. At the conclusion of the hearing, Stanislaus Superior Court Judge Dawna Reeves will determine whether there is enough evidence for the defendants to stand trial. The defendants remain in custody at the county jail.